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Nail trimming


I have yet to meet a dog that doesn't mind getting their nails trimmed. With Shelby, it's a 2 person job. Sometimes we try trimming Shelby's nails ourselves. Other times, I've taken her to PetSmart to get her nails trimmed. It costs 8 dollars, but the last few times, they had me hold her. It seems like I should get a discount for needing to be involved in this miserable process. I've tried to convince Steven to help, but he's washed his hands of it. He would rather pay the 8 dollars. I can't say I blame him.

August 26, 2004 | Permalink


I've never had luck trimming my pets' nails, whether they were dogs or cats. Now that I think about, I don't have luck trimming my son's nails.

Must be my technique.

Posted by: Mariann | Aug 27, 2004 6:48:27 AM

We take our dog Oreo to get her nails trimmed as well. It is worth the 8 - 10 dollars to get it done by a professional.

Posted by: Mike Wills | Aug 27, 2004 6:58:04 AM

Try this, it's a 2 person job, but it's worked for me. One person put peanut butter on a spoon and hold the dog and peanut butter. Let Shelby get started trying to get the p. butter off of the spoon, then proceed to quickly try to cut her nails. I previously tried doing it w/o p.butter, but had no success. This is the only way my poochies will stay still long enough to have their nails trimmed. Good luck!

Posted by: h | Aug 27, 2004 10:46:16 AM

I used to trim my cat's nails by myself. Quite a scary task. Especially since she didn't even like me to hold her. You know what the worse part was? When I'd miscalculate where the nail stopped and the toe began! Yikes, that's nasty! First there's her scream then my scream, then she'd jump and I'd jump (out of her way!) Then I'd have to get her back in my arms to finish the job. (Oh joy!)

Posted by: Lida | Aug 27, 2004 9:55:25 PM

I'll never understand it, My oldest Lola runs for cover when she sees me headed for the cabinet where her clippers and my husband & I have found it a VERY big task! I mean for being so little, well about 18lbs. she still has the nerve to be stronger then both of us put together. I will have to say Sophie, who is about 14lbs. doesn't even care, I can do it with one hand and both eyes closed, I won't but I could, it so easy! GO FIGURE?? Pugs have a mind of their own!

Posted by: Yvonne | Sep 2, 2004 7:05:00 PM

I tried the peanut butter technique today, with moderate success. Steven was out, which meant that no one could hold the peanut butter for me. So I smeared peanut butter on one of her rubber toys and tied it to the faucet in the tub. Then we both sat in the tub, and I tried trimming her nails while she licked the peanut butter. It worked really well for 2 nails, and the rest were a bit of a challenge, but at least I got all of her front nails trimmed. Now, I am in the awkward position of not wanting to pay PetSmart $8 to trim only her back nails, but not being able to do it myself. LOL

Posted by: Winnie | Sep 4, 2004 12:56:00 AM

LOL, I hear you on not wanting to pay for the nail trim! I can only do this when there is another person to hold the dog and the p. butter. My hubby holds the pooch and a paw, that way they don't pull away. They still are a handful, but at least I can be cheap. :-)

Posted by: h | Sep 7, 2004 12:09:05 PM

I am a Pug owner also. Sophie is 4 months old. She is House trained, and doing well. EXCEPT! Trimming her nails is near impossible. But I have found a method that does work. When my Pugg is in a deep sleep on my Lap, I am able to trim her nails. If she wakes up, I kind of hide the clippers and wait for her to fall back asleep....

Posted by: Nitro | Oct 1, 2004 7:07:13 PM

I work at PetsMart in the Pet Salon, I guess that makes me a Pro at nail trims (I've done over a thousand!).
But for Pugs you want to wrap a towel or your feet around the Pug and then get someone else to cut the nails

Also ALWAY start with the back feet and then move to the front.

And One more tip, if you bend the leg backward ,like your shoeing a horse, you can see where the nail curves like this
( ) and then goes soild. You want to cut where it gets thin. If you do cut the nail and the dogs starts bleeding just use some flour or corn startch

Also when the Dog is a puppy play with its feet. It makes it easier later in life

Posted by: Mark | Oct 24, 2004 6:53:43 PM

I was so glad to find this page. My dog Baby is half pug and half cocker spaniel. Really cute, although I am biased. I fought the nail cutting battle this evening and it went okay. I use half a treat after each paw and usually do it after he is a bit tired. It is still a battle though. I did cut the last nail too much and he bled for about twenty minutes (he continued to play). I panicked and started searching the internet for a solution. I used the flour suggestion from your page and I am relieved. It has slowed the bleeding dramatically. I wanted to call the vet right away but we are 21/2 hours from home. I do feel better now. I love the page and pictures. We are thinking of getting a pug possibly in the future. We love Baby so much!

Posted by: tina | Jun 13, 2005 5:25:26 PM

we really enjoy reading all about Shelby's antics! Our pug, Bubba, is about 8 years old now and has brought alot of happiness to our lives. I found your web page searching for info on nail trimming. I now know how to trim his nails! I think since he is older he's better about sitting still for me.

Posted by: joanne | Jan 28, 2006 9:11:34 PM

I finally was able to trim every nail. What a pain. I was covered in fur afterwards.

Posted by: Winnie | Jan 30, 2006 11:27:39 AM

i own a pug thats 1 and a half years old. I never had any luck trimming his nails. He gets nervous once he sees the nail trimmer.

Posted by: Belinda | Jul 31, 2007 10:12:32 AM

Aloha! I always use a Dremel tool with a medium to fine grit sanding attachment to trim our Pug's nails. I know, it sounds like Medieval torture! I started just leaving the Dremel on the coffee table - they sniffed it & got used to it being around. Then, I'd turn it on the low setting & let it run for a while - did that for a few days. Finally, fortified with lots of jerky treats, I'd trim nails (low setting only - high is too scary), while they sit in my lap. They actually wait in line for trims now - I believe they equate Dremel trims with treat-time, which is a good thing :) Hope it works for you, too!

Posted by: Deb | Sep 19, 2007 11:29:32 AM

Hi my dogs name is Rody he is a pug. We have alot of fun playing with him but when i comes time to traim he wont alow it. He will ry to go and not want to get it done. So my frieds and famliy were wondering how you could do this rite bake at sadieskater2@aol.com thanx byes..!!!

Posted by: Sadie | Dec 18, 2007 7:12:48 PM

I have bin a proud pug owner for a year now though it's a high attention we have them they are just to cute n funny n very tanious!!! What I can't figure out is where to cut his nails to being there all black. I do find it works to cut them when there sleeping

Posted by: nicole | Oct 19, 2008 7:05:45 AM

My name is Jayne and my husband Barry and I do our four pugs nails with a grinding tool, my husband straps on the baby carrier and I put the pug into it, strap them in and all four feet are pointed toward me. I prefer the grinding tool to the clippers, we have had such success with our pugs that we started a business do other pugs.
It's a great way to love your pug!!

Posted by: Jayne Henderson | Nov 16, 2008 5:58:40 AM

we have a pug named chula whose mom was winnie the pug and her daddy was spanky my monkey. she is far more entertaining than tv i would love to post a video of her doing her 'ninja pug' moves, jumps completly sideways one pug width over, very athletic, easy for a pug to get a workout indooors:)

Posted by: wade | Feb 22, 2009 9:43:21 PM


i have a pug who is three years old named baxter. i rescued him from a co-worker. baxter was belonged to my co-workers mother who died and she couldnt keep him because she herself had three dogs. so i took him in. However, having an elderly woman as an owner and living in an assisted living that didnt alow dogs, she let him pee and poop in the house! i have tried so hard to get this behavior to stop in my house. i take him outside he does his bussiness...the minute i bring him in and he pees on anything that is standing up right. how can i make him stop peeing and pooping around the house? tom

Posted by: tom sargent | Aug 4, 2009 11:27:59 AM

Hi Tom,

We trained Shelby from a puppy, so I didn't have the same problem. We found that litter box training worked best for her. Plus, she is very very food-driven, so we used that to our advantage, and she got a treat for every successful poop / pee.

You might try asking a trainer for some help as it seems your pug is a little set in his ways.

Posted by: Winnie | Aug 4, 2009 10:22:22 PM

Hi Tom,

You should confine him for starters. Good luck. Suffer a bit and the phase will be over.

Posted by: percy | Aug 6, 2009 11:01:27 PM

We have a pug mix that we adopted from a puppymill rescue operation. We have had her for 8 yrs. and we have the constant problem of the nails growing around back into the pads. I have taken her to the vet every 2 weeks for the last several months trying to get the quicks down. We have had very little sucsess. Do you have any answers ?

Posted by: Jeff Hickam | Nov 5, 2009 3:35:31 PM

Hi Jeff,

That's unfortunate because our dog groomer said that if we took Shelby in every 2 weeks that her quicks would shorten but we've been lax in doing so, and based on your feedback it seems that it might not always work.
We had that problem with Shelby's dew claw, so we just had that removed, but I'm not sure what to tell you regarding the other nails. :(

Posted by: Winnie | Nov 5, 2009 9:12:15 PM

I have the same problem with my 5 yr old pug Lola. Her nails (mostly the outer toes) grow around into her pads and then it is impossible to get a clipper or even a file or "pedipaw" under there. We keep taking her to the vet, and they cut like a millimeter off and act like we are over reacting. If anyone has any advice on how to cut them once they are that long, please please let me know. I'm tempted to wait until we have her teeth cleaned and when she is under anethesia having the vet cut them realy really short...but I don't know if that is cruel or not...

Posted by: Jenna | Jan 25, 2010 1:38:23 PM

LOL my pug Jadie will go nuts if i pull out any kind of clippers so I never cut her nails .. after i bought another house with wood floors she kept on slipping cuz her nails were to long so this is what i did .. since my dog will NOT let anyone near her paw including groomers I just went into the garage and grabbed some low grit sand paper .. it was the same sand paper you put on a rotating sander .. very hard and very low grit not sure of the number
Then I grabbed Jadie and put her on my lap sitting up and grabbed one paw .. with one hand grab a nail at the base of the nail and witht the other hand start sanding it down first lightly one way only then gradually press a little harder (LITTLE)
and repeated this on all her paws .. it did take some time but it was worth the time spent with my fat pug.. I did this to all her paws the two middle paws I sorta sanded them at the same time which saved a lot of time now my dogs nails dont tatter on the floor FINALLY
YAHOOOOO!!!!!!! this might work for your dog
Plus I get to see if i'm getting close the the quick part of her nail so I dont make her bleed
Thanks for reading

Posted by: Isaac | Jul 8, 2011 9:54:00 PM

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